Courage, Mission, And The Awkwardness In Between

9 Aug

Starting a new journey sometimes feels like crossing a river with rushing rapids

After spending a weekend with a Board of Directors for one of the non-profits I work for, Esperanza Scholarship Foundation, I was inspired. I learned about the difference between a vision and a mission. For several hours we workshopped and wordsmithed ideas for what we wanted our vision and mission for the organization to be. We talked about where we have been and where we want to go and eventually, we came up with some new initiiatives.  I learned a lot through this process. Even in my own journey as I’m setting out to write this book about sacrificial love, I realized I need to write down my own mission statement regarding it.

So, here it is:  In order to revolutionize and impact dating and friendship practices within my church community and the extended Christian subculture, I contend for a lifestyle of sacrificial love and outline realistic ways to live it out. 

It’s amazing how quickly my mission was tested just a little over 24 hours later. In conversations I had, prayers I prayed for people as part of the prayer team, and situations I was in, I started to realize that living this out and writing it were two different things.  Especially the “realistic” part. Sometimes I find myself getting into situations just to see if I can handle them (and because I want to be able to write about them later). Often, this is healthy and good and takes a lot of courage. Othertimes it’s hard and painful and seems unnecessary. Sunday night was a mix of both of those things but while driving home, I literally saw a sign that made me laugh out loud.  As I was contemplating dating and friendships in a close-knit community like mine and realizing how awkward it is to actually live out this lifestyle that I’ve chosen, I look over at a church board and it says, “Nobody said it was going to be easy.” “HA! You’re not kidding, are you?” I thought.

It takes many steps to run a marathon but only one to start

And I thought about what I had just heard about courage during that night’s talk. Courage is stepping up and stepping out. It’s taking action before you feel like it. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m stepping up and stepping out despite my fear, challenging others around me to step out with me and attempt to do relationships, friendships, and community differently. Nobody did say it was going to be easy. Living a life of purpose never is though. As I write this book and try to live out what I believe, I’m faced with choices every single day. Will I choose to continue to step out and step up or will I stay where I am and succumb to fear? Somedays, if I’m honest, I stay put. And it’s on those days I miss out. It’s on the days when I get the courage to take a step and have conversations about living sacrificially in community or about how to have a good goodbye with someone you need to let go of where I feel alive because I know that I’m staying true to this calling put before me.

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One Response to “Courage, Mission, And The Awkwardness In Between”

  1. Barbra JEan August 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Hey Melissa! Just saw your post on Facebook and read this. I like that you wrote a mission statement for your life here. Keep on keepin’ on lady!

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